Prime Minister Kishida announces that Hiroshima, in first for A-bombed city, will serve as host of next year’s G7 Summit

Nuclear weapon states U.S., U.K., France to gather for summit

by Seiji Shitakubo, Staff Writer

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents Hiroshima Prefecture’s District No. 1, announced on May 23 that Hiroshima would serve as host of the 2023 summit meeting of the G7 (attended by the Group of Seven industrialized nations) to be held in Japan, the first time a G7 summit meeting will be held in the A-bombed city. U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his support for the decision during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting on the same day. Other G7 leaders reportedly expressed their support in advance. Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that country’s threats to use nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Kishida said, “There is no better place than Hiroshima to show our commitment to peace. We will pledge to the world that the horror caused by nuclear weapons should never be repeated.”

The G7 Hiroshima Summit will be historic in that the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, all nuclear weapon states, will gather in the A-bombed city. It will mark the first visit to Hiroshima for the leaders of the U.K. and France. The world will be attuned to how the leaders cooperate and what kind of message they will jointly deliver. In terms of the timing of the 2023 gathering, the six summit meetings held in Japan to date all took place in the period between the months of May and July.

The recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting was held at the State Guest House in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. At a joint press conference after the meeting, the prime minister touched on the situation in Ukraine. “With historical significance, we will demonstrate the will of the G7 to firmly reject armed aggression, threats to use nuclear weapons, and attempts to overturn the present global order.”

With respect to the G7 Hiroshima Summit, he said, “I hope to confirm that the G7 leaders will unite to protect peace, the present global order, and our shared values at this monument to peace that is Hiroshima.” President Biden welcomed the news that the summit would be held in Hiroshima, saying he was “very pleased.”

As for the opinions of the other G7 nations, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during that day’s press conference, “All have expressed their support for Japan’s decision.”

Mr. Kishida, elected from Hiroshima, calls achieving “a world without nuclear weapons” his life’s work. Besides the Ukraine crisis, he has been on high alert regarding development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by North Korea, and efforts to become a dominant power by China, itself a nuclear weapon state. Mr. Kishida has consistently stressed the importance of international cooperation.

Fukuoka and Nagoya, cities that were in the competition to host the summit, could be selected to host ministerial meetings.

Next year’s G7 summit will be the seventh held in Japan, including the G8 Summit, in which Russia participated. When the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit was held in Mie Prefecture, Hiroshima hosted the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in April of that year, before the summit meeting. Mr. Kishida, Japan’s foreign minister at that time, was present when Barack Obama visited Hiroshima in May of that year, the first visit to the city by a sitting U.S. president.


G7 Summit
An international meeting attended by the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations. Members are Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Canada. The European Union also participates in G7 Summit meetings to discuss such issues as security and the economy. Russia joined the group after the end of the Cold War but was excluded in 2014 when it forcibly annexed Crimea in southern Ukraine. Member nations take turns hosting the summit. This year’s summit will be held in Germany in June. Japan has hosted six such meetings: in Tokyo in 1979, 1986, and 1993; in Okinawa Prefecture in 2000; in Hokkaido in 2008; and in Mie Prefecture in 2016.

(Originally published on May 24, 2022)